This thesis was prepared as part of an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Queensland and was supported by the CEED group. The thesis involved a practical case study on a Queensland based paper manufacturing firm, The Paper Converting Company (PCC). Through a number of processes PCC convert recycled and virgin paper into a wide range of consumer goods, food service products and flexible packaging. PCC operates four manufacturing lines employing large lot, multi-batched production. Due to their extensive product range, machine settings and parts must be altered when switching to the manufacture of each new product. Prior to this project, this process, known as machine changeovers, was inhibiting production capacity through disorganisation and lack of set procedures. Lengthy changeover times have substantial negative implications for an organisation including increased machine idle time, large quantities of waste and inflexible production. The aim of this project was to improve many aspects of PCC’s changeovers on their main production equipment, the Perini/Casmatic line. Using changeover improvement company’s can develop responsiveness and flexibility into their operations giving them a competitive advantage.
Reducing PCC’s changeover times required the implementation of a model. After reviewing the various models in the field, Shingo’s Single Method Exchange of Die (SMED) technique was chosen as the most suitable, especially for its proven ability to rapidly reduce machine changeover time. The implementation of SMED onto the Perini/Casmatic line reduced changeover times by half. This reduction was achieved through converting internal into external operations (17.5%), implementing standardized changeover procedures (20.8%) and designing a parts facility that stores parts by product in an easily accessible layout (13.3%).
Although this was a 50% reduction in changeover time, it is still insufficient to allow PCC to achieve full production potential for a variety of reasons. Areas where further changeover improvement may be possible are suggested, as are recommendations to improve PCC’s overall production.